1 fennel bulb with stems, fresh
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups water
juice of one fresh lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, for garnish
a few fresh fennel leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400F and place a wire rack at mid height of the oven. Slice the stems off the fennel and quarter bulb. Place the fennel and peas in baking tray and toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the bulb turns lightly brown.
2. Transfer the vegetables to a large stockpot. Add the water and bring the contents to a boil on a medium-high flame. Cook until the vegetables are completely soft and tender for about 20-25 minutes.
3. Remove the stockpot from the stove. Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Alternatively, transfer the vegetables and half of the liquid to a food processor or blender and pulse until completely smooth and creamy. Transfer the contents back to the stockpot. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat with occasional stirring.
4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan on a medium-high flame for 45 seconds, as soon as the oil gets hot add the fennel seeds and cook them for 10 seconds. Remove from the stove and drizzle the fennel and olive oil seasoning over the soup. Alternatively, you can also garnish the soup in individual bowls and drizzling them with the seasoning. Garnish the soups with a fresh fennel leaves. Serve warm with slices of toasted bread.